Kanye West’s “New Slaves” is a standout single off the rapper’s 2013 album, Yeezus, and now we get to hear a little more of how the track came to be. Today, a demo version of the “New Slaves” beat was released by the song’s co-producer, Benjamin Bronfman.
The producer crafted the instrumental demo, which he called “Cruel Cold Winter,” when he heard Yeezy was looking for beats for his next album in 2012. Bronfman, who worked with West on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, sent “Cruel Cold Winter” and eight other beats to the rapper. “Cruel Cold Winter” would become the foundation for “New Slaves.”
When Bronfman heard how West altered the beat to create Yeezus’ first single at an early listening session, he says that he understood Yeezy’s approach.
“He almost accentuated the track more,” he says in an interview with Rolling Stone. “The only part he took was the beginning part—he made it even more minimalistic.” Bronfman says West praised all of his submissions for the album and that the rapper called them “next level.”
The producer is currently working on songs that he hopes will be included in the follow-up to Yeezus. Listen to the demo version of “New Slaves,” and compare it to the original below.